Passenger & boot space
How it copes with people and clutter
Up front in the VW Caddy California, there's plenty of head, leg and elbow room, so adults of any size should be able to get comfortable. There’s also a decent amount of storage – you get a pair of big door pockets with built-in bottle holders, a well-sized glove compartment and drawers under both front seats.
The second row of seats is positioned in such a way that you have to sit quite upright, but there is so much head and leg room that it's hard to imagine anyone struggling with space. Plus, the rear bench is wide enough to accommodate three adults with ease, which is impressive in such a compact camper.
In terms of dimensions, the bed itself is 1,980mm x 1,070mm, and is therefore long enough for a pair of six-footers to sleep on it side by side. It also gets cup springs and a high-quality mattress, so it’s pretty comfortable and has plenty of back support.
VW’s commitment to using every inch of the Caddy California’s interior continues with its ‘mini-kitchen’. Installed in the boot, it includes everything from a single-burner cooker with an integrated gas bottle to a storage area for utensils and food. There’s even a custom-made bag designed to hold two foldable chairs and a table for dining outside.
When you're cooking, you'll be at least partially protected from any adverse weather by the open tailgate, and there's the optional annex tent that attaches around the tailgate for additional protection. Another useful item on the options list is a modular sleeping compartment, which doubles sleeping capacity to four people.
Other neat features include integrated fly screens for the driver and passenger front windows, dimmable LED spotlights over the bed, and storage bags that hang over the rear windows. Those sleeping in the van will be able to gaze at the stars if they specify the optional 1.4 square metre panoramic glass roof. There's a magnetic curtain to cover it if you want some extra privacy.
There's also an optional California Plus Pack for those wanting extra home comforts while camping. It includes a front centre armrest with holders for two drinks, a 230V inverter and three-pin UK domestic plug socket, dark tinted rear glass, two USB sockets, power latching on all doors to avoid waking your camping neighbours at night, and LED rear combination lights.
There's not much traditional boot space in the standard Caddy California because the bed and kitchen sit right up against the tailgate. If you opt for the Maxi (and we suspect most buyers will) you get enough space to store a large cool box or even a fold-up bicycle.